2021 Pre-race Speech

[These were the prepared remarks for the pre-race announcements for 2021. It was a bit on the cold side so I shortened them up. Here for your enjoyment are the complete thoughts of your race director on the morning of the Raven Rocks Run 2021…]

Thank you for coming to the return of and 6th annual Raven Rocks Run! Before we get going onto the course, I wanted to say hello – I am your race director Rob Cummings. I have a few items to cover briefly. 

No registered runner birthdays today, but Joe Kapp’s birthday was yesterday and Jimmy Woods’ birthday was yesterday — Happy belated and early birthday to you! 

89 of you joined Friends of Trailside Museum as members – over $7,100 raised. You can still sign up through January 15, 2022 at the race website’s Trailside Museum link

Fantastic News! We received funding commitments from NY State and Westchester County Officials that will officially begin the return of the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower to the Rez. Thank you to Tom Cohn who has been a tireless advocate for bringing back this tower to the park. Thank you all out there for helping with your words and letters of encouragement over the years. It makes a difference for sure.

LAYERS. If you have layers on now and you get to the campground (about 1 mile in) and you want to leave your outer layer, we will have volunteers collecting them in bins and returning them to the finish area for you to pick up at the end of your race.

  • Start taking your layers off at the sand hill. We will be waiting at the bottom of the meadow to collect them.

THE COURSE. The course carries hazards. The leaves can be slick in spots and the wet fall season and especially rain in the last two days have left some wet spots on the trail and a few “water crossings” and “mud flats” features for your enjoyment. 

We did some course “grooming” over the past two weeks. Rocks, leaves, and other hazards are a natural part of the trail. Take care and take those rocky downhills slowly. The uphills you can go fast on.

Course markings are pink flags, pink ribbon, and one spot with yellow caution tape (that’s the RAVEN ROCKS OVERLOOK) to keep you going on the right trail. Pre-run by Joe, Lee, Peeter, Jeff, Jacob, Veronica, and many others. I am quite sure they scared the coyotes and bears away. 

SWEEPS. Sweeps will be following along behind the runners. If you can’t continue, stay on the course and the sweeps will catch up to you and send for help if you need it. They have cell phones, sweep maps, and LVAC contact info. 

After runners finish we will have awards near the tent. Please stick around — you may go home with a prize! 

THANK YOUS…. PAST BIB #1s – ALL HERE! (edit: some didn’t show but that’s OK! It was cold!)

  • 2015 — Ciorsdan thank you for helping with the whole event. Always #1 in my heart. I love you babe! 
  • 2016 — Tony and Judy Godino – hiking the course today? Reverse direction? 
  • 2017 — Charlie Vaccaro (Past BIB #1!!!). The record is officially paused for 2020-21. 
  • 2018 — My parents John and Patricia Cummings – who are here today!
  • 2019 — Lee Willett – SundayRuns.org keeper of the maps, the compass, and the plan.
  • 2021 — Jeff Main, superintendant of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Without his guidance and support, the race does not happen. Jeff is a quiet leader and has a deep history with this park and the Westchester County Park system. 

THE Trail Mix race directors: Tony, Lee, Barry, Veronica, Eric, David, Brant, Megan, and Nancy. (Almost all races in series represented here?). Each year it keeps getting better — although the series was sidelined in 2020 and 2021, some races in the series (like this one, Pavement Ends, and Paine to Pain) were able to return this year. If you don’t know what the Trail Mix Series is, check out trailmixseries.org.

Youngest Runners:

  • M – Kase Atkinson (11)
  • F – Emilia Veroude (12)

Oldest Registered Runners:

  • M – Rob Fryer, John Kiselak, Ed Moore, Murray Roseblith 
  • F – Kelly Heller

Leatherman’s Loop – returns in 2022 — 3 years after last Loop in 2019. Big Things Planned!

Final Thank Yous:

  • Sunday Runners, many are volunteers here. Thanks for keeping the trails well traveled!
  • Parks department – Jeff, Chase, Mike, and the rest of the crew who are so supportive of what we do. 
  • Tom Cohn – past president of the Friends of Trailside and THE driving force behind the newly energized “bring back the fire tower” effort. Big supporter of this race and runners.
  • Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation – Thanks for your support of the Museum and Park!
  • Cecilia Sopranoamichiart.com – designed the t-shirt. And she did 2018 and 2019 shirt as well as all of the Run the Farm shirts since 2014. 
  • LVAC – Volunteers all of them. What a great group of community members. They will take care of you if you should need it. Hopefully you meet them after you have crossed the finish line and are having a bagel & coffee.
  • PRVFD – All volunteers as well. If you get into trouble on the course they will be there to help.
  • Race volunteers – RED t-shirts – thanks to them we get to have a race!

OK, now for the start! 

—Ready, Set, Go! ………. And they’re off! 

2021 Results Posted

We have posted the 2021 results here: https://ravenrocksrun.org/results/2021-results/.

Thanks runners for making this a great day and thanks to our volunteers for pitching in and making it happen.

We are working on a recap of the day and have started to get photos and video organized and uploaded. Check back at this page later tonight for the recap link and refresh the 2021 photos link to see more as we upload.

Our photographers do a great job! Today Carol, Sawyer, and Rob took photos and video — plus thanks to all of the runners who will be submitting photos – thank you in advance! (hint: upload yours to this album!)

Race Day 2021 is here!

 Welcome to the 6th Annual Raven Rocks Run!

Logistics

Directions • Course Map

Photos • Upload Your Photos

Update: ALL Results 2021 Results

And if you haven’t yet joined the

Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation,

you can do it now by clicking here:

Fire tower returning! More information to come soon…

Replica of the Fire Tower commissioned by Tom Cohn seven years ago to help generate interest and enthusiasm in the project.

Raven Rocks 2021 Set for Tomorrow!

Click or press image to go to registration page.

The Raven Rocks Run is set to go tomorrow at 9am. See our Logistics Note for advice on getting to the park and getting oriented once you arrive.

The event tent was unfortunately damaged in the rain and wind storm we experienced yesterday. Fortunately Sunday is forecast to be sunny so we will be (mostly) open-air.

Race organizers will be at the park and on the trails today doing the final prep work and fine tuning the course for our Sunday morning start.

Register

There is Last Minute Online Registration available until this evening if you are deciding late to run – sign up now and make tomorrow morning easier for yourselves and us! 😉 THERE IS NO SAME DAY REGISTRATION.

Note if you are running tomorrow and want to have an extra layer for the start but then want to peel it off (after that first big hill!), we will have volunteers at Michigan Road (1 mile into the course, up the first big hill) who can collect your outer layers in a bin and will return them to the finish line area under the tent for you to pick up after you finish.

The course is the same as 2019 — barring any downed trees from overnight wind storms! It is already “lightly marked” and the full and final marking will take place today.

There is a water stop at the 4 mile mark at the top of the Fire Tower climb (the highest spot on the course).

See you on the trails!

–Rob

2021 Logistics Note

To: Everyone who is registered for (or may be thinking of registering for) the 2021 Raven Rocks Run:

2021 Shirt Design on Carolina Blue

The sixth annual Raven Rocks Run is set to go at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation on Sunday, November 14th, 2021.

(The Raven 100k November Challenge is already underway! More info.)

Race director Rob Cummings, his lovely wife Ciorsdan along with many dedicated volunteers have been working hard to set up this year’s event.

IMPORTANT: There is a cap on Raven Rocks 10k Run registrations for 2021 – and there won’t be same day signup. Plan accordingly!

Registration link is here if you have any more folks to sign up (or you want to pass this on to a friend!): https://runsignup.com/RavenRocks

Not sure if you registered or want to check if a friend is registered? Click here:
https://runsignup.com/Race/RegistrationLookup/?raceId=25402

Here are some tips that will help you on race morning:

1.) ARRIVE EARLY! The race is set to start at 9am. Bib pickup (and shirt pickup if ordered) begins at 7am on race morning. Look for the tent in the Meadow Parking lot. Please plan to arrive at the park by 8:15am — or even earlier if you can swing it.

The regular $10 park entry fee is already incorporated as part of the Raven Rocks entry fee so there is no need to stop and pay at the entry booth. Park employees will direct you on parking as you arrive. 

If the main meadow lot should fill up, we may need to use our backup lot near the entrance to the park. This would mean about 1/4 mile walk for runners arriving late. Another good reason to be early!

2.) DRIVE SLOWLY in the Park! Pay close attention to the staff and volunteers who are directing the parking. Car pool if you can – this helps the environment – and it makes the race more fun! For a helpful overview of the race location (parking, start, bib pickup), check the logistics page of the website here.

3.) LISTEN ATTENTIVELY TO PRE-RACE ANNOUNCEMENTS! Your Race Director will have important information about the course and safety. You will be instructed about potential hazards on the course and current course conditions. 

4.) LISTEN FOR THE START! Following the instructions, we will start the runners.

5.) STAY ON COURSE IF YOU CAN’T CONTINUE! There will be a number of “sweeps” running the course following the slower runners. If for any reason you can’t continue, wait for them to get to you to assess your needs. The park is over 4,300 acres so don’t leave the course unless you know exactly where you are going.

6.) ALL DOGS MUST BE LEASHED! If your dog is running Raven Rocks they MUST START NEAR THE BACK with their humans and wait until the start line clears! For the safety of you, your dog, and the other runners, you must hold back at the start. Please be certain that your dog or its leash does not interfere with or impede any of the other runners. The county park law requires dogs be leashed at all times while in the park. This is for the safety of your dogs, other park patrons, and other dogs visiting.

7.) SAME DAY REGISTRATION – We will NOT have SAME DAY REGISTRATION. Online registration is necessary! 😉 We also have a race cap – if you or a friend are looking to run the race, sign up ASAP before we reach the cap! 

8.) RESULTS: Printed lists of finishers with time and place will be available soon after the finish at the registration area and online later in the afternoon on the Raven Rocks Run website. Check it out at http://www.ravenrocksrun.org/results.

9.) THANK A VOLUNTEER! A tremendous amount of volunteer effort goes into making Raven Rocks a special event. T-shirt designers, registration volunteers, carpool helpers, pie buyers, course setters, trail wardens, box lifters, water servers, bagel cutters, coffee brewers, parking coordinators, photographers, videographers, course sweeps, and the clean-up crew—not to mention the Pound Ridge, Lewisboro, and Westchester County Police officers and the dedicated members of the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps!

We are grateful that we have such a wonderful group of trail running enthusiasts (YOU!) to share this run with. We are also thankful that we have the thousands of acres of parkland at the Rez to enjoy!

Many runners have become members of the Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation group during registration – We thank you for joining! Volunteers from the Friends group will be there race morning to help cheer on runners, support the race, and have information about joining the Friends of Trailside Museum group.

Remember, leave only footprints, take only pictures, and please send us your photos via upload!

Expect more news shared on Facebook, Twitter, via email, and our website as the event nears…. See you in 5 days! 

Good luck and have fun,

….Rob, Ciorsdan, and the rest of the Raven Rocks Run Volunteers!


 
PS: Some useful links…

Map and Directions to the Reservation
Map of the Raven Rocks Run course
• Follow Raven Rocks on Facebook: http://facebook.com/ravenrocksrun
• Follow Raven Rocks on Instagram: http://instagram.com/ravenrocksrun
Searchable list of registered runners
Run on the trails on Sundays all year round!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Raven Rocks Run is the last race in a series of trail races called The Trail Mix. Check prior series standings here – the Trail Mix will resume in 2022!

2022 Trail Mix races will include*:

In addition, we support and attend many other local trail (and a few road) races, including but not limited to:

(Note: this went out as an email to all registered runners for the 2021 Raven Rocks Run, the 2021 Raven 100k Challenge, as well as past registrants. If you did not receive this via email and you are registered, you may want to check your spam folder and set up ravenrocksrun@gmail.com on your address book/white list. If you have not yet registered and you plan to run – sign up now!) 

Submit 2021 Raven 100k Challenge Results

Two ways to submit for the 100k Challenge – first for your runs, second for your badges.

  1. Visit https://runsignup.com/ravenrocks/results and submit your distance results as soon as you complete the day’s run, walk, or hike(s).
  2. Submit your badge achievements/photos/other claims here: https://ravenrocksrun.org/raven-100k-challenge-badge-submission-form/ you can use this form more than once to update us.

Let us know if you have questions – ravenrocksrun@gmail.com.

November Raven Events

Raven Rocks Run – 10k Trail Run – Sunday, November 14 @9am – Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Raven 100k Challenge – Walk, Hike, or Run 100k during the month of November 2021

Raven Rocks Run – 10k Trail Run

The Raven Rocks Run is a challenging 10k trail run at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY.

Race is in-person Sunday, November 14th, 2021 starting at 9am. 

The race will start in the Meadow near the fallen oak tree and its massive remains. The course passes by the spot where the Leatherman’s Loop begins. Instead of heading towards the river as the Loop does, the Raven Rocks Run 10k course climbs and climbs up to the two highest points in the park (Raven Rocks Overlook and the Fire Tower Summit) before heading back for a (mostly) downhill and (relatively) flat finish.

The course passes by the site of the former Blue Trail fire tower which is the highest point in the park. We are working towards getting back the tower to its former spot in the park. See Course Map page for course details.

More information about the race and tower project is on the About page and the FAQ page of our ravenrocksrun.org website.

One of our limitations is a cap on 10k runners at 300 — so sign up early. We have gone over that number the last few times we put on the race — so it could get full or it may not. Depends on the runner demand!

We are looking forward to November when we will run this event for the SIXTH time — and we hope we can accommodate all who wish to run and keep everyone socially distant and COVID-safe!

Important: We have preliminary approval, but our race plans are contingent on final permit approval from the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation. If the COVID-19 situation changes and this approval is revoked and we are unable to offer the in-person event, we will still have the virtual 100k event. We will also offer a 10k race registration fee refund (minus the charge that goes to the processing company) or race deferrals to 2022 for runners if the race is called off by the county. If we have placed the shirt order before a refund is requested we will send the race shirt via mail to runners. 

November Raven 100k Challenge

The Challenge: Walk, hike, or run 100k during the month of November 2021. Distance can be done anywhere, the only requirement is that it be on your feet.

The Rewards:

  • You stay active as the days shorten and the weather cools down.
  • You can join our Strava Club to track your November progress and share with other challengers.
  • If you are in the local area of the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, you can check out the Raven Rocks overlook which is on the Raven Rocks 10k Run course (and there are a pair of Ravens who live there that you might see if y your timing is right!).
  • You can earn badges as you unlock the various achievements we have set up.
  • At the end of the month we tally your totals and send or give you a custom finisher “woodallion” with your name and badges and achievements (see image below) along with your shirt (if purchased).
The 2020 Raven 100k Challenge “woodallion” – design will change for 2021 – stay tuned!

Below are the badge images and names from last year and further down are the descriptions of the achievements. We are open to suggestions on adding more badges – especially if you are outside of the local Raven Rocks / Ward Pound Ridge area! Maybe an international badge if you run a Raven related course outside the USA!

Badge descriptions:

– Run 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (raven badge)
– Run 5x 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (ultra raven badge)
– Run 10x 10k on the Raven Rocks Run course (full flock badge)
– Take a selfie at the Raven Rocks Overlook and send it in (photographer badge)
– Submit a photo of yourself on a run with your “I Voted” sticker (bald eagle badge) or if you can’t vote in the election, next to someone with an “I Voted” sticker.
– Submit a photo of you running on Thanksgiving (turkey award)
– Photo of a raven anywhere (citizen award) (merged with traveler badge)
– Do a run in the dark to Raven Rocks (night owl badge)
– Do a run at dawn to Raven Rocks (cobweb crew badge)
– 200k distance in November (snowy owl badge)
– 300k distance in November (white raven badge)
– Read a stanza from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” poem and send us a link. Use SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook, or whatever audio service you want. (wise owl badge)

New badges this year include the “Peeter Badge” named for Peeter Muursepp who during last year’s Raven 100k Challenge did 33 loops of the 10k Raven Rocks course. Get up to 33 loops to earn the badge. Surpass it with 34 (or more) and the badge name changes to your name!

EDIT: Jacob Benesch has proposed a new badge for anyone doing 5x Raven Rocks 10k course in one day. We already have a badge named the Ultra Raven Badge, what name should we give this one? Let us know your suggestions! (email ravenrocksrun@gmail.com)

Let us know if you have any questions about the Raven 100k Challenge for November 2021 – email ravenrocksrun@gmail.com. Thanks!

See you on the trails!

Rob